Heel prick for Amanda and Jack’s baby
Amanda and Jack had a child!
Amanda and Jack are happy.
Their baby was born today.
It is a girl.
Her name is Megan.
Jack goes to City Hall.
He says that the baby was born.
Jack gets the leaflet about the heel prick.
The baby is a few days old
The baby is a few days old now.
She can now have a heel prick.
The heel prick helps to check for serious illnesses.
The heel prick does not check for all diseases.
Why a heel prick?
To do the heel prick, the care provider takes a little bit of blood from baby Megan.
They look at that blood to see if Megan has a serious illness.
The heel prick checks for serious diseases.
Often, there is no cure for these diseases.
Luckily, they do not happen often.
If a baby does have a serious disease, it will get medicine or special food.
It is important to start on this very soon.
That is very important for the baby’s health.
It is important to let the heel prick be taken.
The heel prick is free.
The heel prick is voluntary.
If you do not want your baby to have a heel prick, you can tell the care provider.
Who does the heel prick?
A care provider from the Well-Baby Clinic visits Amanda and Jack at home.
She does the heel prick.
Sometimes the care provider makes an appointment for the heel prick.
But sometimes the care provider comes to your home without an appointment.
Sometimes the midwife or obstetrician takes the heel prick.
If your baby is in a hospital, medical staff will do the heel prick there.
If your baby is at home, the hearing test is done first, and then the heel prick.
Read more about this in the leaflet about the hearing test.
How does the heel prick work?
The care provider pricks baby Megan’s foot.
A drop of blood comes out of her foot.
It hurts for a moment.
Megan will cry a bit.
The blood needs to be put on six circles on the test card.
When the circles are filled, the test card goes into an envelope.
The care provider sends the card to the lab.
That is where the blood is tested.
They check for diseases.
Results in 5 weeks
Did it go well?
You will hear within 5 weeks.
Usually the results are fine.
Then you will get a letter.
Sometimes they cannot see from the blood if the baby has a disease.
That means they will do the heel prick again.
If the test result shows your child might have a disease, your family doctor will contact you.
Or the family doctor will come to your house.
If that happens, your baby needs to go to the hospital for more tests.
After this you will know if your baby has the disease or not.
Carrier, but not sick
Sometimes babies carry sickle cell anaemia.
That means the baby is not sick.
With the heel prick they can see if your baby is a carrier of sickle cell anaemia.
Do you not want to know if your baby is a carrier?
Tell the care provider who does the heel prick.
Would you like to know more?
Ask your midwife or doctor.
What happens to the heel prick test card?
The heel prick test card, with your baby’s blood on it, stays in the lab for 5 years.
They keep it to learn more about diseases that affect babies.
This is anonymous. The card does not have your name and address or your baby’s name on it.
If you do not want them to keep the card for 5 year, please tell the care provider.
The card will stay in the lab for 1 year so it can be checked.
The card will be thrown away after 1 year.